When DirecTV promises Stephanie Esparza it will waive the charge for a premium channel, she’s shocked by her next monthly bill. Why won’t DirecTV honor its word?
Question: We are loyal DirecTV customers. A few weeks ago, I used the chat feature on their website to ask about lowering my bill. They were able to offer me a $10 credit for 12 months.
I then asked to have NFL Sunday Ticket removed since we can’t afford it. I was transferred to a different representative who told me that we would be receiving NFL Sunday Ticket for free this year.
We were very excited because we love watching football. Fast-forward to the end of last month when we received our bill. The full charge for the first installment of Sunday Ticket was on it.
I immediately called DirecTV. A representative acknowledged reading in the transcript that I was told it would be free and escalated my issue. More than a week went by and I finally got a call from their account management team yesterday.
I was told they would not be honoring what the representative had told me in the chat transcript. My only option was to continue my current service with no Sunday Ticket as promised. I feel lied to, deceived, taken advantage of, unappreciated and scammed. I’ve canceled my service. I want an immediate refund for last month’s NFL Sunday Ticket charges and an apology. Can you help? — Stephanie Esparza, La Palma, Calif.
Answer: DirecTV should have honored its offer, if not before you showed a representative the chat transcript, then certainly afterward. I see the written dialogue between you and DirecTV as a written offer, which the company is required to honor.
I don’t much care for the resolution. DirecTV wanted to pocket a full month of Sunday Ticket, which lets you watch every NFL out-of-market game on Sunday, and downgrade your account, without so much as an apology. Way to make you pay for its mistake!
At this point in the story, I’d tell you to get everything in writing next time you get this kind of offer. But wait — you did get everything in writing, and DirecTV still seemed to feel it could ignore its obligations.
So what’s next? An appeal to someone higher up at DirecTV. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of all the DirecTV customer service contacts on my advocacy site. You could also file a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission. I believe the agency would consider DirecTV’s actions an unfair and deceptive practice.
I contacted DirecTV on your behalf. It turns out the agent you were working with misread your account information while chatting with you. (To him, it appeared Sunday Ticket was “free” when it actually wasn’t.) DirecTV promised to provide the agent with “feedback” which I assume means he’s going to get a talkin’-to.
In the end DirecTV made this right for you. It agreed to re-establish your service, waive all related fees and issue a $100 credit.